Editor’s note: We recently launched an improvement that makes over 60 additional Google services available to Google Apps users. This series showcases what’s new and how your organization can benefit.

Welcome to Google Places
You already know that Google Apps is a great way to run your business and ensure that your employees can collaborate and work effectively. But are you also taking advantage of Google’s other online tools that can help your company build a strong external presence and customer base? Our recent infrastructure upgrade has made doing so much easier: now you can access Google Places with your existing Google Apps account.

Google Places offers business owners a free and easy way to make sure that potential customers can find their business when searching online at Google.com and in Google Maps, both from desktops and mobile devices. With your free Google Places account, you can:
  • Be found: Verify your business’s information to make sure people can find you on Google.

  • Stand out: Engage customers with photos, coupons, custom posts, and more on your Place page.

  • Get insight: Use feedback about your listing to make smarter business decisions.

Claiming your business listing with Google Places is easy and verification methods are in place to make sure data is accurate. Once you’ve claimed your listing, you can update it through Google Places at any time using your Google Apps account by signing in at google.com/places. In addition to creating your listing, you can also enhance it by highlighting special offers with coupons, sharing photos and videos of your location or products, marking your service areas, and responding to reviews from customers.

Once your business listing is up and running, you can use the Places dashboard to gain valuable insights about your listing’s performance. For example, you can view top search terms for your business, which can help you set up a more targeted AdWords campaign. Or, you can view an interactive map showing the origin of customers who request driving directions to your current location, which could help you decide where to open up a new location.

Learn more and get started
Google Places can be enabled by your domain administrator from the Google Apps Control Panel at https://www.google.com/a/[your_domain.com] (replace [your_domain.com] with your actual domain name). If your organization isn’t using Google Apps yet, you can learn more and sign up today at http://www.google.com/apps/more.

Share your story
Have you already started using Google Places at your organization, or plan to now that it’s available? Please share your story and your organization could be featured in the next Gone Google ad campaign!

Note: Google Places may not be available in all areas